Sailing to the Islands: rubai / rubaiyat

Across the western sea the islands gleam
like jeweled notes that play, or so it seems,
a wild and rugged song, steeped in romance
and stories that delight the night with dreams.

The winds, when they are willing, swirl in dance
in steps not of America, or France,
but in a strange and sensual caprice;
they tempt the stranger to but take a chance.

The clouds above lay soft as down, or fleece,
and slowly billow as their grays increase,
’til full of rain and summer’s violent storms,
they empty out their content in release.

The long horizon stretches far ahead
across the line of sight like a pale thread,
and seems almost a never-ending band
that ties the rolling waves to the sky-bed.

At dawn and dusk, the edges of the land
seem to forget which part is foam or sand,
and blur into a gray and purple stream
that mixes light and dark along the strand.

15 MAY 2017

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